|Official Name||Rainbow Snake|
|Common Nicknames||Shimmer Snake, Slizzar Snake|
|Habitat||Sendras and small pockets of Hadar|
The Rainbow Snake is most commonly seen inhabiting the dense jungle continent of Sendras, where the Allar used it for decades in the creation of alchemy products before these practices ended following their civil war. The animal is rare, with a high youth mortality rate, but once it has matured and starts producing its bad-tasting slippery black reflective oil, it is guaranteed to survive for a long time. The animal is also known for rarely hunting prey, instead opting to scavenge the kills of larger predators.Their spread is so vast, across the entire landmass, that it is unlikely they will slip into the darkness of extinction any time soon.
The Rainbow Snake has long been a feature of Sendrassian and by extension, Allar society. The reptile was long a feature of Allar artwork and due to its unique body, a great tool in their alchemical creations. It was so important that in the artwork of the period, it was second to the Dragons in many depictions, appearing in their claws or directly below their heads. As for Allar alchemy, the oil they naturally produced was said to help create wonderful beauty products (horn polisher, scale shiners) as well as skin-soothing ointments. The animal was not affected by the Sendrassian Civil War, as it was already a rare animal and did not suffer in any significant way during the destruction caused by the war. The animal’s history is shrouded in mystery from this point forward. While a handful of specimens have been collected, mainly by brief Hadarian Allar-led excursions to the region that was once their own, the animal has remained elusive, and a rare find for any alchemist or hunter who has traveled to Sendras.
The Rainbow Snake reaches anywhere from three to four feet in length, with its weight being challenging to weigh due to the oil the reptile excretes, but assumed to be around 20 pounds. Their heads are small and arrow-shaped, with a slender snout expanding back into a clearly two-sided slightly bulbous head. Their eyes can have a variety of colors, and there are reports of heterochromia occurring within the species. They possess no venom and so have no fangs, though their mouth is full of sharp teeth. The rest of their bodies are thick, ending in a pointed tail. Their diamond scales are naturally colored pale grey or beige, but over their lifetime, their scales are stained into a dark grey or black coloration by the thick oil they produce from special glands. These glands are located just beneath the scales and help produce a black oil, known to glint rainbow colors in direct light. This oil allows the animal to slip away quickly if grasped, as well as possibly protecting its body from infection and blend into the dark jungle floor.
Rainbow Snakes have a disposition toward the male sex, though there are no external indicates of an individual’s sex. Further diversity exists in their eye colors, with possibilities of green, yellow, orange, red, brown and blue all possible. These are carried from parent to child (genetically), and heterochromia can create some very exotic eye colors in certain individuals.
Life Span and Development
Rainbow Snakes are born in clutches of two to eight small soft, leathery eggs which are buried in the ground and then oiled on by their mother before she leaves. Within a month of being laid, the young snakes emerge and, lacking glands for oil production, are the natural pale coloration all members of the species are. They try to rub themselves on their mother’s dried oil, which at best lightly smears their scales with black. They then emerge from their nest and set off in different directions. Over a further month, they grow in size and develop the glands that can be used to protect themselves and until such a point, they will use dirt and other substances to dirty their scales. Once their glands come in, the Rainbow Snake’s development slows. By the age of one, they are considered adults and have reached their full maturity, both in mind and body. The Rainbow Snake has a lifespan of nine years, but many die within the first month of life when they cannot produce their body-protecting oil.
The Rainbow Snake shows medium emotional and actual intelligence. The animal, while generally dispassionate toward other members of its species, can show small signs of affection and care. Females “hugging” their eggs might be seen as both a survival technique (her giving them a bit of her oil) but also an emotional action. Males and females during the mating season, while a bit mechanical in the process, do show small signs of affection such as cuddling when the act is done before both parties depart. In its relation to other species, the only race that had any extensive contact with it was the Allar. They displayed similar dispassion and disinterest toward these very distant cousins, but did attempt to escape and survive when hunted or grabbed by them. On the topic of hunting, the Rainbow Snake is a master escape artist thanks to its oiled body. Many predators ignore them due to the oil’s bad taste, while what predators that do hunt them often find their jaws unable to close fast enough to slice open the serpent’s flesh. As for the hunt, the snake is lethargic in that regard. It tends to feed on the dead of Sendras first and only when extremely hungry and lacking any corpses does it hunt the large insects or small jungle-floor dwelling creatures.
Territory and Groupings
The Rainbow Snake is a perpetually nomadic animal. They have no set territory, no set group, and live a solitary existence the moment they leave their nests. They are only likely to come into contact with another member of their species during the mating season.
- While the traditional uses for Rainbow Snake Oil exist, a grouping of people became known for falsely claiming to both possess such oil and to have created many miraculous alchemy creations from all parts of the animal. Snake Oil salesmen is now a term to refer to such razzle-dazzle cheats.
- Despite these false claims, some wonder what other creations or products could be derived from the animal’s scales, oil, and so forth.
- A Cro-Allar’s tomb was not sealed properly, and when the Allar reopened it, namely to investigate the awful smell, they found well over a dozen Rainbow Snakes had entered and eaten him while their oil pooled and dripped across every surface.